On Friday Google said it respected New Zealand law, there had been a “miscommunication” and it was taking the issue seriously. “We understand the right to a fair trial and acknowledge that this is a fundamental part of the legal system,” it said in a letter to Little’s office. As a result, it said, the Google Trends feature that led to the accused’s name being published had been suspended in New Zealand.
“This means that people will no longer receive emails on any trending searches for New Zealand and provides even further assurance against any recurrence,” it said.
Little welcomed Google’s “responsible” change of policy. “Work on how suppression orders will be upheld in the digital age will continue,” he said.Millane, 22, was killed in December shortly after arriving in Auckland on holiday. A 27-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to her murder.